While graduates of other disciplines may be enjoying their summer by the pool or planning their next travel destination, many accounting grads hunker down to study for one of the most difficult professional licensing exams. That’s because according to research conducted by NASBA (The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) and the AICPA (The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), results consistently show that the sooner candidates take the CPA Exam after graduating, the more likely they are to pass.
If you’re a recent or soon-to-be college graduate, here’s why taking the CPA Exam as close to finishing your education as possible is beneficial.
- You’re still in “study mode”.
Take advantage of the fresh information in your brain and the pep in your step. There’s no better time to utilize all the things you’ve learned about time management and study tactics for the CPA Exam than now.
- Information is still top of the mind.
All the nitty-gritty details that you’ve learned in your accounting courses are still walking around in Memory Town. That means you’ll be able to quickly apply what you’ve learned in class to topics tested on the exam. One of the main areas of difficulty for candidates is not being able to recall what they learned in their accounting courses. Eliminate the forgetful factor while the information is still brewing and fresh!
- You’ll never get the summer after you graduate back.
Take advantage of this free time that you have now. You’ll never have it again. You may be tempted to spend this time vacationing or relaxing, but remember that you’re still young and there will always be an opportunity for leisurely enjoyment. The CPA Exam takes dedication and focuses—two things that can be difficult to obtain once you’re working full time, starting a family, or doing both. Life only gets increasingly more busy as time goes on, so the few months you spend studying for the CPA Exam now is a dent in time compared to the rest of your life as a successful CPA.
- Earn more sooner in your career.
Many firms give out bonuses (anywhere up to $5,000!) for candidates who pass the CPA Exam in an allotted amount of time (usually 1 year). Pass the exam before that due date, and you may get that bonus even sooner. It will also give you a competitive edge in the job market and enable you to advance over your peers more quickly. In addition, CPAs can earn up to $1 million more over the course of their career compared to their uncertified counterparts.
- The sooner you start, the more motivation you have to finish.
As you already well know from late-night procrastination in college, the earlier you start on something, the better off you’ll be. Don’t wait to study for your CPA Exam. You have ample time this summer to get a jump start on a very difficult test. Use it to your advantage while there’s nothing standing in your way. The later you start, the more it will compete with other growing priorities in your life, and the less likely you’ll be able to give this professional goal the attention it needs.